Te Ika a Maui, or New Zealand and its Inhabitants
Chapter XXIII. Hone Heke
Chapter XXIII. Hone Heke.
This Chief belonged to the Nga puhi tribe: he married the daughter of Hongi, and was one of the early converts to Christianity. He distinguished himself by his knowledge of Scripture, and consistency of conduct, until the assumption of British authority in 1840. Listening to the insidious representations of unprincipled foreigners, then roving about the country, he conceived the idea that the British Government intended to make slaves of the Maori. His first great display anger was occasioned by a flagstaff, which was erected on the height above Kororareka to signalize ships. This, he was page 343 told, was the sign of their being reduced to slavery. He, therefore, went and cut it down (July, 1844).
Captain Fitzroy, the Governor, sent for some military from Sydney, about 180 of the 99th Regiment. On their arrival, he held a meeting with Heke, Walker Nene, Moses Tawai, and others; the latter offered to be surety for Heke's good behaviour. They said, if the soldiers were sent away he would be peaceable, and if not, they would then make common cause with the Government. The Governor agreed, and sent the soldiers back; they returned grumbling and disappointed to Sydney. At the Governor's request, ten muskets were given up, and laid at his feet, who, satisfied with this proof of submission, returned them to their owners. This act of the Governor's was found great fault with, but it was a very prudent one, for had he taken his little troop inland, it could have done nothing, but, unsupported by native allies, it would doubtless have been cut off by Heke's ambuscades. As it was, the Governor secured valuable allies, who afterwards contributed to the final success of our arms.
This peaceable state was, however, of very short duration. Heke again listened to the tales of men ill-affected to the British Government, and a second time he went and cut down the flagstaff. Another was erected, sheathed with iron, six feet high, and protected by a block house and twenty men. Walker remonstrated with Heke, but he insulted him, and proceeded in his hostile course. Many acts of plunder were committed on the settlers. In February, 1845, it became evident that another attack would be made on the flagstaff; the block house, therefore, was further strengthened, and Captain Robertson, of the Hazard, was sent to protect the town of Kororareka, which was menaced by a force of near 800, under the command of Heke and Kawiti, who had joined him with all his men.
Walker and several other Chiefs met Heke a day or two before at the Waimate, and told him, if he persisted in his hostile course, they should join the Governor. Heke said, he had heard that the snake, whose head he had cut off, had grown into a monster, with many mouths, and that he was page 344 anxious to see the strange sight,—alluding to the flagstaff and loop-holes in the block house.
This large force encamped about a mile from the town, out of the range of the Hazard's guns. Several skirmishes took place, Lieutenant Philpott was taken prisoner; they took away his pistols, but, having danced the war dance around him, they returned one pistol, and good humouredly let him go, bidding him take more care of himself for the future. On the Sunday, one of the Missionaries went and preached to them from James, whence came wars and fightings. When he had finished, Heke bid him go and preach the same sermon to the sailors and soldiers, who equally needed his warnings.
On the evening of the 10th of March, Heke went with a party of 200 men, and placed himself in ambuscade near the block house, whilst Kawiti, at the head of a similar number, advanced upon the town, not to injure the settlers, as he afterwards said, but to draw off the attention of the sailors from Heke's attack on the block house. About four o'clock in the morning of the 11 th, the inhabitants of Kororareka were aroused by the sound of musketry. Kawiti was making his descent upon the town, when his course was arrested by Captain Robertson, at the head of about twenty-five men, who defended a narrow defile against an overwhelming force. A sharp encounter took place, in which six or seven of the sailors were killed, and as many more wounded, amongst whom was the Captain, who had suffered so severely that his life was at first despaired of; but he eventually recovered. He showed great bravery, and killed several with his own hand. Kawiti lost near twenty men, and amongst them several high Chiefs, and he had many wounded.
Heke succeeded in taking the block house, and cutting down his enemy, the flagstaff; he then danced the war dance with his men on the hill, in token of victory.
The natives finally gained the day, and the explosion of the gunpowder magazine induced the British to evacuate the town, which was safely effected under the guns of the Hazard. The natives themselves appeared surprised at their victory and at the abandonment of the town, which they for a long time forbore page 345 entering. Afterwards they did so, and plundered the place, which they never would have done had it not been thus deserted by its inhabitants; but at the same time, they manifested a degree of forbearance and humanity which, under similar circumstances, we seldom find displayed by more civilized combatants. They allowed the inhabitants to reenter their houses, and carry off their valuables, and Heke even sent a female and her child under a flag of truce to the vessels, which had received the houseless townspeople. The Bishop and one of the Missionaries landed, and buried the dead. The Roman Catholic Bishop also was equally active. The Maori then burned the town, but carefully spared the Missionhouse and Church, with that of the Roman Catholics. The Governor's testimony was, that acts of a chivalrous nature were performed by them, and their forbearance towards the settlers, and especially the Missionaries, after the conflict, was remarkable.
The result of this war was the increasing the military force, and the opening of a regular campaign. It caused Walker and several others to declare themselves in favor of the Governor. He promptly mustered 250 men, and came to the Waimate, as early as March 19th, and when Heke's friends advised him to join them, he said, “That man has despised our words, who are much older than himself, and ridiculed our threats. Who is he, or what is he, that he should thus trample underfoot the advice of his fathers. He has always been troublesome, but latterly he has become unbearable. If we do not oppose him, he will soon tyrannize over those who have fed and nourished him, and we shall no longer have peace.” He wrote to the Governor and told him he had come to fulfil his promise, and aid in putting down Heke.
In April, H.M.S. North Star, and two transport ships, arrived in the Bay, with 300 men. Pomare was taken on board, and kept as a prisoner. Afterwards the troops were marched into the interior to join Walker. On reaching Mawe, where Heke had built a strong pa, an engagement took place. Kawiti was nearly taken; he feigned death, threw himself down, and the enemy passed and repassed him, but he escaped. The troops, after a gallant resistance, gave way.page 346
On the 3rd May, 420 men were landed at the Bay, they were marched inland to attack Heke, who had retired with the other Chiefs to a pa at one of the extremities of the Bay. The North Star also proceeded there. A fruitless attack was made on the 8th of May.
The troops had only brought three days' provisions with them; and had it not been for Walker's liberal supply, they would have been famished. Ruhe, a neutral Chief, had provided a supply of pigs and potatoes for Heke and the soldiers. The road to the latter laying through his camp, he asked permission to drive his pigs for the soldiers. This was, as a matter of course, immediately granted. Heke abandoned the pa, and the troops also retreated to the coast, with the loss of fifteen killed, and thirty-seven wounded.
Heke sent a message to the British Officers, to say that their dead should have a Christian burial. He accordingly sent for a Missionary, who performed that melancholy duty. The troops were re-embarked, and returned to Auckland.
In June, a large body of six or seven hundred men, under Colonel Despard, attacked Heke at Taiamai, where he and Kawiti had built a strong pa. On hearing of this great force, Heke tried to conquer Walker before he could join it. In this, however, he failed, and received a severe wound in the thigh. Colonel Despard stated in his dispatch, that one-third of the men actually engaged fell in the attack.*
Before the fight, Walker's men joined in singing a hymn and in prayer for the success of the troops. The native Christians in the pa did the same also, and though our men in this respect were wanting, still it was afterwards found there were amongst our poor fellows who fell, those who committed their souls to God before they rushed into the fight, and many others who were greatly encouraged by hearing the solemn prayers of the natives in their behalf.
* Colonel Despard is reported to have said, before he left Sydney, that he would either take Heke alive or dead, or fall in the attempt.
Afterwards, when the artillery was brought to bear on the pa, it was taken. When the news reached Auckland, the inhabitants for a time were panic struck, and almost expected to see the enemy at their doors.
Heke then built another strong pa, called Ruapekapeka, which was considered a masterpiece of Maori fortification.†
After much skirmishing, in January 1846, the pa was taken possession of. On the Sabbath, the defenders retired outside, to the part the furthest removed from the besiegers, while they held their service, to be out of the way of the balls: this being discovered, the troops entered the place before Heke's men could return, and the pa fell. He retired to the interior, where he continued to reside in his native fastnesses, secure from pursuit. After having made an honorable peace, he lived in quiet until his death, which took place in 1850.
However mistaken Heke's views may have been, yet he can only be regarded in the light of a patriot. His moderation in prosperity, and the total absence of vindictiveness and cruelty in war towards those thrown into his power, will always tell in his favour. It is to be regretted, that he was made the dupe of designing men, and worthless characters; but making allowances for his only partially enlightened mind, his faults will not be sufficient to eclipse the glory which he has gained in so successfully combating with those who possessed all the skill and resources which military science could bestow. The Governor wisely made peace with the insurgents.
* A report was circulated that Captain Grant's body had been partly eaten, but it was totally untrue.
† A model of it was made by Colonel Wynyard, and sent to the Great Exhibition.
Thus ended the first, and we trust the last, war in the north of the Island, between the European and native races. However much it may be lamented, we cannot but regard it as one of those events which, in the course of Providence, has been overruled for the establishment of a permanent good understanding between the two races. At first, the aborigines were despised, afterwards feared, and at last respected.
The natives were surprised when they found they were at liberty to occupy their former lands, which by their own customs had been forfeited; to this moderation of the Governor, is mainly to be attributed the good understanding which has since prevailed.
This war, when contrasted with their former savage ones, prior to their embracing Christianity, is remarkable for the entire absence of unnecessary acts of cruelty, and even for many instances of a kindly feeling towards their foes, which showed most clearly how great a change the mild precepts of the Gospel have effected in the native mind.
The Governor afterwards met Heke, who presented him with his green stone mere, which is now preserved in the British Museum; and shortly afterwards he began to decline in health, and died. He was only about forty years of age. His body laid in state, decorated in the native style, for some time previous to its interment, and was visited by most of the natives of that part of the Island.
Kawiti, the other Chief, died about 1853, having previously embraced Christianity, and been baptized.
Tapouka, a great Chief of the Middle Island. The whalers gave him the soubriquet of Old Wig. He was celebrated for his great cunning, as well as courage. Formerly the Dusky Bay tribe was very numerous, it is now all but extinct. This wily Chief adopted the following curious expedient to surprise and destroy a more numerous tribe than his own. He dressed up some of his men in seal skins, and sent them into the vicinity of the enemy, carefully planting his men in ambush page 349 inland, sufficiently near to command a view of what was going on. The natives, unsuspecting the snare, saw these pretended seals sporting about in the breakers, and came out to catch them. When the whole tribe was thus drawn out, and whilst intent on their supposed game, out rushed Old Wig and his tribe, and cruelly massacred them; some fled to a neighbouring island, to which they were pursued, and there killed in the caves in which they sought to conceal themselves. My informant saw their bones still remaining, a monument of this cruel adventure.
Tapouka died of the measles about 1833. He was related to another great Chief named Bloody Jack, one of the principal men of the Ngai tahu: he was one of the Chief supporters of the whalers, and through them became possessed of considerable wealth. In imitation of the Governor of New South Wales, where he had repeatedly been, he kept a number of men drilled and clothed in old uniforms, which the Governor gave him; and when any Europeans visited him, these were duly drawn out before them. He also had a vessel of his own, which was commanded by one of his European friends. He made common cause with the whalers, in all their quarrels, and they, in return, lent him their aid, and thus enabled him to obtain the mastery over the neighbouring tribes.
Tute ounguku, the son of Tama hara nui, invoked the aid of Bloody Jack to revenge the death of his father, who was murdered by Te Rauparaha. That Chief was surprised by Bloody Jack, and nearly all his party cut off; Rauparaha himself had a very narrow escape of falling into his hands; he fled in a canoe, to lighten which he threw twenty men, women, and children into the sea. This Chief lost his life in returning from the Kaikoura in an open boat, in company with a young Chief named Topi, who was in another boat. Bloody Jack took an inner passage in the dark, and was capsized in the surf, and although his companion was called to come to his aid, he most unfeelingly refused, being indignant at Bloody Jack's having appropriated a larger portion of money received for the sale of land than he was entitled to. He, therefore, perished.page 350
It appeared as though the electric telegraph had found its way to New Zealand, for no sooner had the war broken out in the north, than hostile symptoms were simultaneously displayed in the south.* A few of the natives who lived in the Hutt, and had cultivations there, were ordered to quit without much ceremony and favor being showed them. They were told the land had been sold by Te Rauparaha; they also claimed a right to it, but their claims were disallowed. After much disputing on both sides, a military force was stationed in the midst of their cultivations. The Governor sent me as an ambassador to the disaffected natives, who were then encamped in a dense forest, to say that if they quietly left, he would see they had compensation given them for their crops. Kaperatehau, the principal Chief, agreed to his terms, and promised to leave the following day. Unfortunately, in the meantime, a constable set fire to their village, burnt their houses, their neat little wooden church, and even the fences around their graves. This wanton act greatly exasperated them: during the night, they revisited the site of their late homes, dug up all the bones of their dead, and carried them off into the bush. The Governor again sent me to speak to them. I found their late peaceable feelings had disappeared; they pointed to a heap covered with branches, and, lifting them up, I saw the remains of the dead. They told me, there was an end of peace. I left, and reported their words to the Governor.
* When Ohaiawai was attacked, and so many of our brave countrymen fell, long before the news reached the settler in the south, I saw in the interior several neatly-constructed models of the pa and its defences, made with fernstalks, to show the way they had gained the victory; these had been made by messengers sent from the north, to publish their success to those in the south.
The Chiefs then conducted their men along the mountain ranges to Waikanae, and after several skirmishes, in which a few prisoners were taken, and one, to our disgrace, hung for defending his native land, the enemy reached Poroutawhao, where Rangihaeata remained secure amidst the swamps which surrounded the place. Mamaku there left him, and returned to Wanganui, where he tried to raise a force to aid his former ally. He came down upon the town with about eighty men, but the Nga ti Ruaka and Putiki natives came forward and defended it. The inhabitants, to mark their gratitude for this seasonable protection, gave the Head Chiefs a public dinner. Before Mamaku and his people left, he said, “This coat is small, but I shall return at Christmas with a warmer one,” intimating that he would then come with a larger force, and attack the town.
The Putiki Chiefs, Hoani Wiremu and Te Mawae, aware of the critical position of the little settlement, which then had scarcely a population of two hundred, immediately wrote to page 352 Government, and recommended the placing of a military force at Wanganui, for its defence, and without loss of time, for Mamaku would certainly return again with a larger force. Their advice was taken, and about Christmas a detachment of the 58th, under Captain Laye, arrived, and a stockade was made, the Putiki natives giving their assistance in cutting the timber required.
In April, one of those unforeseen events occurred, which unfortunately interrupted the good understanding which had hitherto existed between the military and the Nga ti Ruaka. A young midshipman, who, with Lieutenant Holmes, of the Calliope, was stationed at Wanganui, in commaud of a gunboat, had employed an old Chief named Hapurona, to make him a Raupo house, for which, when made, the boy (for he was nothing more) refused to give the stipulated price, and in joke pretended to be very angry; he pulled out a pistol, and, with pretended fierceness, threatened to shoot him, unfortunately it went off, and the ball entered the Chief's cheek, and lodged somewhere near the ear. The native thought it was done on purpose, and it was regarded as a wilful murder. The military, instead of holding an open court of enquiry, took the youth into the stockade, and shut the gates; this confirmed them in the idea that the act was intentional.
* Blood.—The shedding of blood was always considered a most serious thing, although but a drop were shed, and that too of a person in the wrong, from being before the aggressor he became the aggrieved, and required an atonement. As an example, if a man caught a person in his karaka grove, stealing the fruit, he could demand a compensation for the theft; but were he to strike the offender, and cause a single drop of blood to flow from a scratch, native law would adjudge that karaka grove to the thief, as a payment for the drop of blood; and were not the owner to resign the land to him, the tribe of the thief would feel itself called upon to maintain his right to it. A gentleman entering my house, knocked his head against a beam and cut his eyebrow, so that blood flowed; the natives present deplored the accident, and said that, according to their law, the house would have been forfeited to him, and as they were of his party, it would have been their duty to have seen it given up to him, as every one present was affected by his blood being shed. In the same way, even if a canoe should be dashed on shore in a storm, and the owner's life endangered, he thereby acquires a title to the spot he is thrown on. When blood is shed, it is the duty of every one related to the person who has suffered to seek for revenge. It does not matter whether it be the individual who drew it or any one else belonging to his tribe; but blood must be shed as an atonement for blood. This was one of the most fertile causes of war in former days. There were then no cities of refuge for the manslayer to flee to for safety, and his act endangered the lives of every one in his tribe.
In order to involve the Mission natives (who were always well disposed towards the Europeans) in a quarrel, and to make the latter think they had committed this murder, the murderers dropped different articles taken from the house along the road leading to their pa, and then fled up the river.page 354
The murder made a great sensation, but no one ventured there that night to see what had been done. The following morning, several of the settlers, officers, and Putiki natives, with the schoolmaster of the Mission Station, went to the scene of this tragedy. They met the two children on their way to the Mission-house, and afterwards found the eldest daughter, to their amazement, still alive, with the baby in her lap, covered with her blood, although the cleft in her skull extended full six inches from the bridge of the nose to the forehead. The cold of the night staunched the blood and saved her life. She afterwards recovered, but had a fearful bright red seam, nearly a third of an inch wide; a lasting remembrance of that dreadful night. She and the two infants with the corpses were brought to the town. The timid man stated, it was at his wife's request he left her to seek for aid, as she had no fears of their injuring her, but this was contradicted by his daughter, who said, her poor mother entreated him with tears not to abandon them. Immediately the natives heard of the murder, Hoani Wirimu and the Putiki Chiefs held a meeting; they resolved to capture the murderers, as the best way of proving their innocence of the crime.
They crossed over the same night, and made the officer in command acquainted with their intention; he strangely refused his consent, but by the advice of his brother officers, at last did so. Hoani Wirimu, taking several determined young men with him, set off without loss of time, selecting a light and swift canoe. They paddled up the river, justly supposing they would hasten that way into the interior; they called at every place to enquire, and were not mistaken. On reaching Ikunikau, they told a feigned tale to the natives of that place, who immediately manned a large canoe, and continued the pursuit. At last, the murderers were perceived. The Putiki natives laid down in the canoe, lest, being recognized, the object of their journey should be suspected. On coming alongside, they jumped up and seized them; a struggle ensued, and the canoe was capsized; they however retained their grasp, and secured five of the murderers, one having previously left their company. Having bound their prisoners, page 355 they hastened their return. On reaching Waipakura, Maketu wanted them to stay there for the night, but when they declined doing so, he fired at them. They proceeded on their way, and safely delivered up their charge to the military; not having been more than twenty-four hours from the time of their starting, during which they had paddled seventy miles. No time was lost in trying the prisoners by court-martial; the trial commenced on the 24th April, (25th was the Sabbath,) and on the 26th they were condemned and executed, the boy only being spared, as it was proved he did not assist in the barbarous deed; but he actually entreated to be hung with his companions.
These youths being connected with the Nga ti ruaka, caused that tribe to take up arms. They were joined by the Nga ti haua, with the Chief Mamaku at their head, and by the Patutokotoko. They speedily raised about three hundred men, and encamped at Papaiti, where they strongly entrenched themselves. In the first skirmish, they obtained possession of a part of the town, which they not only plundered but coolly remained in to feast on the ducks and fowls they found there, cooking some dozens of them. The military and inhabitants took shelter every night in two stockades and three of the strongest houses, two of which were surrounded with trenches. The town then presented a singular appearance, its entire population being thus shut up in these few fortified spots, all herding together, and from their contracted quarters, much sickness and death ensued. Whilst the natives were thus engaged in plundering, a random shot from the nearest fortified house, went through one of those in the hands of the hostile natives, and killed Maketu, a great Chief, whilst in the act of loading himself with plunder. The gun boat was of great service in keeping the enemy in check, its bold commander being always in advance. The news of the war was brought to Auckland, where I was then attending a Committee of the Church; the Governor left the next day in the Inflexible, war steamer, taking me with him. On reaching the Wanganui Heads, 24th May, a gun was fired to give notice of our approach, but no boat came off. At last, two natives were seen on the shore, page 356 waving a flag; we went and took them on board, one was Hoani Wirimu, who informed us that the opposite side of the river was entirely in the hands of the enemy, which was the reason no boat had been sent to us. All the available force was then embarked in the ship's boats, without loss of time, and we entered the river. Bands of natives were prowling about on the town side. When Hoani Wirimu sent word to the Governor, that if a force were sent that night up the river, it would cut off all the canoes of the enemy. The advice, however, was not taken, and the following morning they were removed higher up. A great demonstration was made of our force, but without result. Several skirmishes took place. The natives plundered and burnt all the remaining houses of our out-settlers, and drove off the cattle. They carried on their operations so near that the people in the town could hear them thrashing out their wheat. This state continued until the 1st July, when the enemy enticed a party to leave the stockade to intercept a few natives, who were trying to carry off some geese; when they got near, up jumped another party, which caused a larger to be sent to cover it, and thus at last the whole military force was drawn out. This has been dignified as the Battle of St. John's Wood. About three men were killed on either side, and ten wounded. It appeared astonishing to a civilian that so much firing could take place with so little effect, the chief observable one was, a great downfall of rain the following day. The natives early the next morning sent a challenge to meet on the open plain, which, not being accepted, they said, We cannot remain any longer, we must go and plant potatoes, and to the amazement of all, they broke up their encampment, and left. Thus terminated the war. The natives said they were “rite,” equal, and therefore they were satisfied, there being exactly the same number killed and wounded on both sides, which was about half a dozen. Since that time, a good feeling has subsisted. The native has been raised in the European's estimation; he has shewn so much courage and skill, as to elicit the admiration of the military, and he has clearly proved, that whilst willing to be one with us, he will not suffer himself to be page 357 trampled upon. The patience and forbearance of the officer in command, Colonel Macleverty, effected, perhaps, more than our arms: he showed the natives we had no desire to fight with them, but only to defend our settlers against their attacks, and thus the kindly feeling between the two races was not destroyed. To show their good feeling, of their own accord they returned some of the stolen cattle, and then demanded the bodies of the murderers, which being given up, they returned most of the remaining cattle, and since that period have lived peaceably.
Mamaku retired to the Upper Wanganui, where he still lives peaceably. He became a candidate for baptism; having lost his three wives, he said, it was a clear indication that it was his duty to turn to God, as there was now nothing to hinder his doing so; and nearly the last person I baptized, was Te Karamu, Mamaku, Nga-tai, for all these are his names. His new one being Hemi Topini, (James Stovin,) after one of my relatives.
Some notice in this work is due to the memory of Manihera, especially as I have given brief sketches of the principal heathen Chiefs. The contrast between their lives and that of a Christian Chief, will forcibly show the wonderful effect and power of the Gospel on the mind, and the remarkable difference between the fruits of the spirit and those of the flesh.
Manihera was a Nga ti ruanui Chief, and many years the head teacher of his tribe at Waokena and Whareroa. He was always conspicuous for piety and attention to his duties, and instead of his first love growing cold, his appeared to increase with time; indeed, his love of Christ was written upon his countenance. At the Christmas meeting at Wanganui, December 24th, 1846, I held a prayer-meeting “with my teachers, to supplicate the Divine blessing upon our labors.” I felt it was good to be there, the fervency and fluency with which some poured forth their prayers at the throne of grace, gave the well-grounded hope that they had tasted the good gift of God, and were thus able to proclaim the Gospel with effect to their fellow countrymen. It was a most interesting time, page 358 for there was an unusually large assemblage of natives, more than two thousand, and those too of all the various tribes who inhabit this part of the island, and who, a few years ago, could not have been induced to meet on any terms, but now they sat quietly by each other's side as brethren. The daty of aiding those still sitting in heathen darkness was alluded to, when Manihera arose, and said, they had received the Christian faith from the distant country of England, and if we had left our native land, in obedience to the Lord's command, “To go unto all the world, and preach the Gospel,” surely it was theirs also to do the same amongst their own benighted countrymen. For his part, he willingly offered himself as a Missionary to go to his enemies, the Taupo natives, who were still heathen. Kereopa, who also lived at Waokena, requested to be his companion. Two other young men also volunteered. Having full confidenoe in the spiritual state of the former, their offer was accepted, and they were solemnly commended to the care of the Most High; all present appeared deeply affected by the scene.
Wiremu Eruera, and Tahana, two of the teachers, came forward and said, that as these two were now devoted to the Lord, they did not think it right the servants of God, as ambassadors of Christ, should go forth without suitable clothes; they immediately gave each a pair of black trowsers, the only Sunday ones they had; others contributed coats; one persoan gave one garment and another gave another, until they were perfectly provided with proper clothing.
Afterwards Manihera and his companion came to say, that Enau, the brother of Herekiekie, told them, they had better defer their proposed journey to Taupo until his return, as their going before would be like walking over the dead bodies of the tribe, alluding to those who had been slain by the Nga ti ruanui in their former wars. They said, that although they deferred the journey, they could not forget they were tapu, or devoted to the Lord.
It is necessary here to state the cause of the great enmity which the Taupo natives entertained towards Manihera, as belonging to the Nga ti ruanui tribe. In 1841, Tauteka and page 359 several other Taupo Chiefs, headed a taua (or flght) against Waitotara; they were all slain, and some, who were spared after the battle, and had food given them, were afterwards put to death by another party, which was indignant at their lives having been thus preserved; this act was never forgotten. The Taupos said, after they had shaken hands with their prisoners, and fed them, they killed them in cold blood, and, therefore, they determined to murder the first they could meet with from that tribe, as a satisfaction for the blood then shed.
Manihera and his companion knew this, and without waiting until Enau returned, wearied with his long absence, their zeal overcame their prudence and urged them to commence this mission of love. On the 6th of February, 1847, Manihera and his companion left Wanganui.
One part of the duty to which they devoted themselves, was to remonstrate with those who were still living in hostility to the British Government, as well as to proclaim the Gospel, and urge them to embrace it. They, therefore, first bent their steps to Poroutawao, where Rangihaeata resided after his retreat from Porirua. They reached his abode, and plainly, but affectionately, spoke to him. He replied to their address by laying his hand edgewise on the back of his own neck, intimating to them that they were exposing themselves to great danger of losing their lives, by the step they were taking; but he treated them with great respect, and made a feast, advising them to proceed no further. They thence crossed over to the east coast, and after a very long journey, reached Rotorua, where they remained several days. Mr. Chapman, the Missionary there, was much interested with them. I had given them a letter for him, and by mistake it was sealed with black wax. Mr. Chapman wrote back to me, and did the same. Manihera remarked, this is a sure sign of death for us; nevertheless God's will be done. On reaching Wairewarewa, there was a funeral just going to take place, and Manihera was invited to read the service, which he did, remarking he should soon want some one to perform the same office for himself.
They then went to Motutere; there they were advised to page 360 go to Pukawa, where Iwikau te Heuheu would give them a kiud reception,andd were told to be satisfied with having come thus far, for the tribe they were so desirous of visiting was a very wicked one, and would not attend to them, but most probably put them to death. Manihera replied, that the great object for which they came was to preach the Gospel to the wicked, and therefore the reason he gave why they should not go, was the very reason for which they should. He answered, Well, then, you go with your eyes open to the consequences. They preached at Motutere; thence they visited Waimarino, and went on to Waiariki; there they again received a hearty welcome. He preached to them in a very solemn, strain, which deeply affected his hearers, and in the morning he said he felt that his time was at hand, and that before the sun set he should be an inhabitant of another world; that during the night he had been in the Reinga, and met many of his deceased friends, who told him he should soon be with them.
A small party of young men, about ten or a dozen, accompanied these two devoted men on their way, for Waiariki was the very next place to Tokanu, the residence of Herekiekie, and the tribe they were going to visit.
Their coming was known to the inhabitants of that pa, and bearing in remembrance the death of their relatives at Waita tora, and their duty of avenging them, Huia-tahi, chiefly at the instigation of the widow of Tauteka, went with a small party, and laid in wait for them; they concealed themselves in a thicket by the road they were to pass, and suffered the young men of Waiariki to go on before, for all were walking in single file, the usual custom, the native roads not allowing of two walking abreast. Immediately Manihera and Kereopa came in a line with them, they fired. Manihera was only wounded, but his companion was shot dead. Huiatahi, an old Chief nearly seventy, immediately rushed out of the thicket, and chopped at poor Manihera with his hatchet, but his blows were too feeble to kill him, and it was a long time before he fell: one blow destroyed his sight; he then put up his hand as it were to wipe away the blood from his eyes; at last he fell, but still lingered from the morning when this cruel page 361 tragedy was perpetrated until sunset, ejaculating prayers for his murderers, that their eyes might be opened to the truth, and assuring his companions that all was light within. Having taken his Testament, and a kind of journal which I requested him to keep, and given them to one of the young men who accompanied them, he then expired.
Such was the end of these two devoted men: truly they were soldiers of the Cross, faithful even to death, and doubtless at the last day will stand in their lot, clothed in spotless raiment of white, in the holy company of those who have sealed their faith with their blood.
Their companions, who were unarmed, loudly expressed their indignation at this treacherous deed; they carried the bodies back to Waiariki, and afterwards buried them with great solemnity near their pa, erecting a double fence around their graves. To mark the spot where these faithful soldiers of the Cross fell, they scooped out two hollow places in the turf. Not satisfied with this, they immediately sent round to all the Christian villages, exhorting them to take up arms, and avenge so unmerited a death; they likewise wrote to me, and bade me lose no time in coming to Taupo. They were killed on the 12th March, and on the 22nd the news reached us. We were all deeply affected. The following day we held a prayermeeting; I told the natives that I had no doubt the Almighty would over-rule this sad event for good, and that He in whose cause they had shed their blood, would not suffer it to sink into the ground unrequited, for the blood of the Saints is the seed of the Church. That Paul was not only consenting to Stephen's death, but also the keeper of the garments of those who stoned him; and yet that very man, in after days, became the chiefest of the Apostles. So may this tribe, which has, through ignorance, consented to and joined in this cruel murder, hereafter become as eminent for its love to God and devotion to His service.
I was rejoiced to find that Herekiekie, the Chief of Tokanu, was not at home when the crime was committed, and that, on his return, he was greatly incensed with his people for thus bringing such a stain on his place.page 362
I wrote to Manihera's friends, expressing the hope that they would take a Christian view of the sad affair, and not make it a pretext for future bloodshed.
On the 1st of April, a large meeting was held to hear the letters of Manihera's friends read, and to decide what should be done, for there was a very general feeling of indignation against the murderers. The letters were read; they all breathed a very Christian spirit; the tenor of them was, that they were not angry though sorrowful for their friends' death; that as they had died in the Lord's cause, they should leave it with Him, and not in the old way demand blood for blood.
William Tauri, the head teacher, who was also a Taupo chief, expressed his entire concurrence in the sentiments which the Nga ti ruanni had expressed, and made use of the following beautiful simile, to show that although a minister or teacher might be taken away, yet that event, however deplorable, would not hinder the spread of the Gospel. A minister, he said, was like a lofty Kahikatea tree fall of fruit, which it sheds on every side around, causing a thick grove of young trees to spring up; so that although the parent tree may be cut down, its place is thus more than supplied by those which proceed from it.
Another said, “If a soldier of the Queen were to be killed, and we were bidden to arise, should we not do so? And now that a soldier of Christ is murdered, shall we sit still? When Paul, the teacher of Onetea, was drowned in the Wanganui river, did not his friends come and carry away his body to be interred amongst his own friends and relatives, and shall the bodies of Kereopa and Manihera be left amongst the heathen?” But another immediately arose, and said: “Why should we be thinking about the bodies of our friends and their resting-place? We know that although they are decomposing amongst their enemies, yet their spirits are alive with God. I know what we should have done in former days; but what would have been the good? If we fight, we only increase our sorrow by multiplying the dead. Let us not fear those who can kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. Let us listen to our Minister, and take his advice.” Tahana, one of our page 363 principal Chiefs, and also a teacher, said, “At baptism we are made the soldiers of Christ. The soldiers of the Queen perish, but the soldiers of Christ live for ever. Manihera and Kereopa were true soldiers of Christ; can we doubt their happy state?” Another remarked, “Although their blood had been poured out on the ground, it was no proof that God was angry with them, for Christ's blood also was shed—that the blood of the people of God fertilized the earth; and although these two were dead, we should not be discouraged, but send two more to preach the Gospel; and if they also were killed, two others; and if they perished, still keep supplying their places until the summer came, and then, perhaps, their enemies would give in, and be converted.”
Several others addressed the meeting in similar terms. It was then decided that the matter should be left entirely with me. I proposed to visit the tribe which had murdered Manihera and his companion, as well as the Christian natives of Taupo, to allay the excitement these deaths had made, and to exhort the murderers to repentance.
On the 5th of April I left home, and found the natives up the river in a very excited state, and extremely hostile to the British Government, and to the Putiki natives as well, for having made common cause with the Europeans. I was several times threatened, and advised to return; but on the 21st we safely reached Pukawa. A rumour had preceded us, that we were coming with a party of three or four hundred men to avenge the death of Manihera. Te Heuheu received us with every demonstration of joy, and after the usual tangi, or crying, was concluded, he addressed us in a very long speech. He said that the great and lofty had fallen, and that all was dark on their account. He bade us welcome, whatever might be the object of our coming—whether to cover up, or uncover, the crime. He said, “This land has been polluted with blood from the time of our first ancestors to this day. My brother, my child, my father Te Teira, welcome! Go you to Huiatahi: you are strong: I cannot. Don't say I conceal my thoughts.” I told them this was my second visit on account of the dead; first for Te Heuheu, and now I came for Manihera and page 364 Kereopa: the falling of a mountain had crushed the one, but the others had been basely murdered, when they only came as messengers of peace: that Heuheu did not gain his rank by murder—he was too noble to use such means: that if a tribe thus sought to prosper, it was as though a man were to expect his house to stand firm though built on a bog. I was indeed grieved—not for Manihera and his companion, for they were happy, and had received their reward, but—that any could be guilty of such a crime. They had heard a rumour that I was coming with several hundred men to avenge their deaths: I had indeed come, and they beheld my party! our only weapon was the Word of God! We came, not to avenge, but to make peace—judgment we left with God. I was not sorry for the indignation which the natives of the other side of the lake had shown against the murderere—for the dead were their guests, and they were murdered in their presence: had they not shown their abhorrence at the deed, I should have thought they had connived at it; but we came to make an end of the quarrel, and the terms were, that peace must now be made with the Nga ti ruanui—as it had been purchased with the blood which was shed.
A bout an hour's pull on the morrow, brought us to Tokanu. We passed by the mournful scene of Heuheu's glory and destruction: the grass had not yet grown over the common tomb of his tribe. The long-extended line of clay, which had covered up his pa, formed a striking monument to remind us that “in the midst of life we are in death.” The surrounding lake was strictly tapu, and the wild fowl, as if conscious of their security, allowed us to pass without taking wing. When we entered the pa, which we did in a long line headed by myself, we received a suspicious welcome from a few females. We sat down in silence: the usual crying when friends meet was omitted. Opposite to us were Herekiekie and the murderers of our poor friends. Not a word was spoken on either side for full a quarter of an hour. Every now and then fresh parties kept arriving, most of them carrying their guns. At last Hemapo, the next to Herekiekie, arose. He acknowledged the sin committed, and deplored that we—his relatives page 365 and a Minister—should thus be compelled to come without exchanging the usual tangi, and receiving the accustomed welcome. He said much more, but not liking on this occasion to take notes, when we knew not how we were to be received, the rest is forgotten. Tahana arose, and spoke for some time very earnestly, telling them that their present work was of a new kind—that even their forefathers would have been ashamed of it—and, therefore, our visit was in a new way; had we not been influenced by a kindly feeling, we should not have come at all; that now we could not give them our hands, or join in the cry of friendship. One of the opposite party then got up, and said, he had heard that we were going to Auckland to get Te Werowero to come against them; they were all one; they were all one; they were prepared for the worst; they were not sorry for the deed, and could not forget the death of their friends. Te Huiatahi said, His heart was not at all dark for what he had done; he did not however wish to continue the evil, or to carry it further—it was done in accordance with their ritenga (custom). William and another of my natives also spoke—then I addressed them. I told them this was my first sorrowful visit to their place, but still it was a visit of love, or I should have stayed at home; we did not, it was true, tangi (cry) with our eyes, but we did with our hearts: we had come, not to avenge, but to avoid further shedding of blood; the dead were the servants of God, and died in doing their duty: we left vengeance to Him who has said, “Vengeance is mine! I will repay, saith the Lord.” We trusted that they would be led to see the enormity of their crime, and repent of it: that now the blood of Kereopa and Manihera had been shed, they could not be brought again to life on earth—they were in the enjoyment of their reward, and it was great: but sufficient blood had been shed, and it was not our wish that any should avenge their death: they had killed them, it is true, in accordance with their ancient customs, and we wished their blood to be the price of a permanent peace between their tribes, that henceforth love might prevail: that if they agreed to my proposal, one of their Chiefs should go back with my children and make peace with the Nga ti ruanui.page 366
Herekiekie said, He fully agreed to my proposal; although he was not one of the murderers—for if he had been at home, he should have prevented the deed—still it was done by his tribe. Henceforth, the Nga ti ruanui might come to his pa, and they should be welcome. He thanked me for coming, and hoped now we should be friends again; that we should eat with them and exchange salutations. One thing only remained, and that was to know whether the Nga ti ruanui would agree to my proposal Aperaniko here jumped up, and said, their Minister was the Nga ti ruanui; he came as their representative; they had left all with him; and whatever he did they would agree to. I told them, sorrowful as the Nga ti ruanui were, they sought no revenge, but left all to God. It was arranged that William and Tahana should return, and finally settle who should go with them as ambassadors of peace; and then, though pressed to eat or shake hands, we arose, and silently returned to our canoe. They followed, and bade us farewell. I was thankful that the affair had so far terminated satisfactorily, and I felt I could not be sufficiently thankful for this answer to my prayers that I might be made instrumental in putting an end to what had threatened to bring on a general war. The Christian natives, both here and at Rotorua, and even Waikato, were prepared to rise. I rejoiced to see their abhorrence of the deed; but if they were to take up the cause, the evil would only be increased.*
* Hekairo, the Chief of Rotorua, afterwards did make war on the murderers, and plundered their place.
Hence we reached Wai Marino, a Christian pa, where a very indignant feeling prevailed on account of the murder. They doubted the sincerity of the parties; but still, I think, will accede to my wishes for peace. We were hospitably entertained, and remained there for the night. In my discourse, I told them, if they were to take up arms and shed blood they would just be doing what the Devil would wish them, as the most likely way of getting them again into his power. I addressed them from the verse, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”
We reached Motutere about noon the next day. Here we had the usual cry, and then speeches. They first bade us welcome, but inquired what was the object of our coming. Was it to see the Church trampled under foot, and the servants of God slain? Was it to give our hands to the murderers? If this were the case, Rangipo* would be closed against us, and there would be no coming here in safety. Others spoke in the same strain. I said, I might also ask them what was the good of their words. Did God establish His Church here that it might continue war? Was not the Devil the author of it? Had they not sufficiently felt the evil of it in former days to prevent their commencing it again? Would God permit His Church to be trampled under foot? Could they extinguish the light of the sun? God was the head of the Church, and we were the members of it—was it right that the members should act without the head? The foundation of the Church was love—would it be seen if we rose up and killed one another? Was it not our safest way to leave all with God, and trust to him for the termination of this sad affair?
I also sent a letter to Hikairo, and to all the teachers of Rotorua, dissuading them from taking up arms to avenge these murders, but recommending them to leave all with God.
* The name of the road from Wanganui across the Tongariro plains to Taupo.
But after a few months war passed away, peace revisited us. I, therefore, lost no time in again paying Taupo a visit. The Tokanu natives, according to their promise, had sent two of their Chiefs to the Nga ti ruanui natives, and had made peace: they were very kindly and hospitably received, and the long feud which had existed between their respective tribes, was terminated. Here, then, were the first fruits of Manihera's death seen—it had caused peace.
I took with me to Taupo a young Chief named Piripi, from Waokena (he was the successor to Manihera), as the teacher of his place, that he might return the visit of the Tokanu Chiefs. The Nga ti ruanui, however, would not permit him to go, unless he went in my company. We safely reached Tokanu, and a feast was made in honor of our arrival. I found a very different feeling to that formerly displayed; all expressed a desire for instruction. I proposed, therefore, as a token of their sincerity, that we should all go and hold service by the martyrs' graves; they agreed to my wish, and page 369 the inhabitants in a body accompanied me there. We passed by the spot where they fell; which was marked, as already said, by two hollow places. On reaching the graves, I preached to the assembly. The sight was affecting: there were the memorials of the deed before us, and there were the perpetrators of it, with down-cast heads, listening to that Gospel which Manihera and his companion came to proclaim. They reminded me of Saul, once consenting to the death of Stephen, afterwards a convert to the same faith, which he had before opposed.
We returned to the pa, and Huiatahi, the murderer, himself proposed that a Missionary should be sent to his place at Rotoaira, and be stationed at Poutu, where he would give a most suitable spot, and also erect both a Church and a Mission-house as well. Many also came forward as candidates for baptism.
This was indeed a great and wonderful change, and it was evidently the Lord's doing.
I left, with the promise of again returning as soon as the Church should be completed, to open it, and to receive the first fruits of the place in it, leaving Piripi behind, as the Chiefs were desirous that he should remain and partake of their hospitality.
After some time, I received an announcement that the Church was completed, and only wanted me to open it. Accordingly, I went to Rotoaira, accompanied by a party of my teachers; we were met at some distance from the pa, with horses for us. One native, immediately we were seen, returned to make the announcement of our approach. We were received with every demonstration of joy.
The Church was an extremely neat, I may say elegant, building. I had no sooner taken some refreshment, than a crowd of candidates for baptism surrounded my tent. I received about thirty. Hemapo, the brother of Herekiekie, had already been baptized by Mr. Brown, and now I appointed him as the teacher for the new Church. The service of the Sabbath was very solemn. I administered the sacrament to my own party, and to Hemapo, and then received during the evening service, these fruits of Manihera's death.page 370
On the Monday, when I preached to them before my departure, I felt so overpowered by the sight, that I could not proceed, and when I left, the entire congregation followed me for nearly a mile, and with many tears bade me farewell. Thus terminated the Mission of Manihera and Kereopa.
Some of the adventures of our sailors in the early days of our acquaintance with New Zealand are interesting; of such is the following:—
On the 14th January, 1831, a man named Andrew Powers entered the Wanganui river; he formed one of a boat's crew which came from Kapiti on a trading expedition: there were three white and one colored man with him. They rowed as far as a sandy bight, adjoining the South Bluff, where they landed to dine, and whilst doing so, a party of natives joined company, which had some cooked food with them, two baskets of which they gave to the party. Whilst eating their dinner, one of the natives went and sat in the boat; a man named Joe, called out to Powers to go and turn him out. Powers replied, you had better do so yourself, as you know more about Maori than I do. Joe then got up, and asked him what he wanted in the boat. The native replied, to look at him. The sailor commanded him to leave, and when the native continued to sit still, he took hold of his mat to drag him out. The native immediately arose and drew out his patiti (hatchet), from beneath his mat, and cleft his skull open. Powers went to help his comrade, when a native named Wetu, knocked him overboard, and as he laid hold of the boat with one hand, they immediately struck him over it, and made him let go. He then put his hand on the side of their canoe, and got in. The natives pulled him down on his belly, one sitting on his legs and another on his arms, and so held him for some time; when he was permitted to look up, he found three of his comrades had been killed. The man of color had been spared. They cut off the heads of Joe and Tom, and placed them to steep in a little water hole above the cliff, down which a small stream trickled. One of these heads was afterwards dried in the usual way for sale; the other being very much page 371 chopped about in the face with the hatchet, he thinks was not preserved. The bodies of two of the victims were cut up and eaten. Afterwards, when Powers had been some time with them, he asked what had become of the third man who was killed, as he only saw two of their heads. They told him, when he was killed he cried, and their atuas said, they were not to eat the bodies of men who cried from fear of death, lest it should make them cowards; so they buried his body in the sand.
At the time when this affair took place, there were no natives residing near the sea. Putiki had been destroyed two years before, by Te Rauparaha. The men who seized the boat where Taupo natives, and immediately afterwards went up the river. Powers accompanied Tapuae and his son Wetu. The black man going with another division of the party, he saw no more of him. The party of Wetu returned by Wanganui-a-te-ao and Rotoaira. As they went up the river, the people of some pa they stopped at, gave Tapuae and Wetu a basket of human flesh, and were going to give some to Powers, but Tapuae told them not to do so, as foreigners did not eat that kind of food, and Tapuae said, neither would his son eat it; he therefore returned the present. The natives, astonished, enquired, what is he tapu, that he cannot eat human flesh? No, replied his father, the smell of it always makes my son sick, (a convincing proof there were some at least whose feelings revolted at such unnatural food).
On reaching Taupo, Te Wetu said, he must take him to see the king; so they went to Waitaha-nui, and there placed him in the verandah of a house. In a little time a native brought a new floor mat, and spread it upon the ground, and bid him sit upon it. Shortly afterwards, they said, our king is coming, and a very stout majestic native made his appearance, who came and sat by his side on the mat; this no doubt was Te Heuheu.
The king spoke to him very kindly, and asked him if it was true that his men had killed and eaten his comrades. Powers was afraid to reply, and therefore pretended not to understand what he said. He then sent for a little slave boy who had lived page 372 a long time at Taranaki with some European, and asked him all the particulars, whether any provocation had been given by the Europeans, he was told no; he then called for his patiti, one of his wives went for it; Powers said he trembled, and felt that his time was come; he watched anxiously the woman as she went along a narrow alley in the pa, until she disappeared. Te Heuheu, the king, jumped up, and went into the house, but soon came out again, clad in his best mat, with one round his loins, and a musket in each hand. He then strode into the midst of the assembly, brandishing his muskets, and making a very animated speech, expressing his grief and shame that such an act should have been committed by any of his tribe. He said, Did I send you to the sea to murder and eat the Europeans who had done you no injury? How can I hold up my face when I go to Maketu, or any place where the Europeans come; hitherto they have regarded me as their friend, but now they will say you are the Chief who kills and eats our countrymen; what folly have you been guilty of? Who is it that supplies you with guns? brandishing those in his hands. Is it not the Europeans? Will they do so now they know what you have done? After making a very long harangue in this strain, he came and again sat down by Powers, and put some further questions to him, which he pretended not to comprehend; he therefore soon gave over talking to him. Going into his house, he returned with three figs of tobacco, and a short glazed pipe, with a head on it, which he gave to Powers, who made signs that he did not smoke, and refused to take the present. The king said, Very well, if you do not smoke yourself, take the gift and give it to your Chief.
From Taupo, they went to Rotorua, where Powers was taken to a man employed by a trader named Scott, of Tauranga, to buy for him of the natives. His Chief wanted the man to redeem him. The man wrote to Scott to ask his permission to do so; Scott replied, that he had better return to the West Coast, from whence he came; but if he wanted to redeem him, he must sign a bond for his repayment, and agree to the price of the goods given for him.
Powers was not then ransomed, but carried on to Maketu; page 373 there he found a trader named Tapsall, a Norwegian, and a countryman, who immediately redeemed him for twenty-five pounds of tobacco. Tapsall was the first European who was regularly married to a native; this was done by Mr. Marsden. In 1839I saw him with his wife and family, which appeared very numerous, encamped under his boat, which was drawn up on the beach at Hekawa, Hicks' Bay, where he was then trading.
Andrew Powers has been living many years at Wanganui; he is a fine hale old man, and will be seventy-one next Christmas, if he lives so long. This account was taken from him in September, 1850.
There is still another story connected with the same individual, which is illustrative of the change which the Gospel has produced in New Zealand, in the treatment the same individual experienced at two different periods with an interval of about twenty years between. In fact, in Andrew Powers'story we have two epochs clearly defined, that of heathenism and that of Christianity.
Returning from Wellington along the sea shore, a year or two ago, he was taken ill and laid down on a sandhill, unable to proceed further. A native who was travelling that way saw him, and went on to Otaki, where he told the natives that he had seen a pakeha (European) laid on the shore very ill; and what did you do to him? said Tamihana, the son of Te Rauparaha, the Chief. Nothing at all. He was afraid if he died the Europeans would say he had killed him. Well, then, said Tamihana, you are like the man in the parable, who went on the other side of the way. He then went and saddled his horses, and he and his wife rode off to see the poor man; they found him very ill, and gave him some refreshment which they had brought with them; they then got bearers, and had him carried to their house, where he stayed many days, until he was quite well. The poor old man, when he related this story, said, they may say what they like, but, whether a Maori or not, Tamihana te Rauparaha is a gentleman.
The following story, though not strictly relating to New Zealand, describes the curious religious customs of an island page 374 to the north of New Zealand, and is extremely interesting. A man named Jackson, who was out whaling in the Cape Packet, related the following story of an adventure which befel him at Alatana, one of the new Hebrides. A boat's crew was sent on shore to cut firewood; he was one of the party, but having drank too much, he went into the bush, laid down amongst the trees, and fell asleep, and so soundly, that when his companions called him he did not awake, neither could they find him: having called and searched for some time, they left and returned to the ship.
When he awoke, he got up and looked for the boat, but found to his dismay that it had gone. He looked about, and saw two natives on a small island, only separated from the one he was on by a deep narrow channel; he fled and concealed himself. Afterwards four men landed from a canoe on his island; they sat down with their backs turned to him; he approached them without noise, crawling on his knees; when he reached them, which he did unseen, he stood up. The natives were so much alarmed at the sudden apparition of a white man, that they fell down flat on the ground, as though they were dead; afterwards they arose, and sung a song to him. Most probably this was a karakia, as they would take him for a god, for most black tribes think the gods and spirits of ancestors are white.
After some time, they beckoned for him to follow them, which he did; he was led inland about ten miles. As they went, they crossed a brook; he was going to drink, when they pulled him back, fearing, perhaps, if he did so, that the water would be tapu, and they could not afterwards drink of it without dying. But one of them offered him some urine in a clam shell to drink. (The New Zealand natives think that the inhabitants of the Reinga or Hades feed on human excrements and drink urine, and this appears to have a reference to a similar idea; they might further suppose, if permitted to partake of earthly food, he would not be able to return to Purutu, or Paradise, as the Tonga natives report was the case with their first ancestors.) After passing through beautiful cultivations, bordered with neat fences of reed, and intersected page 375 by narrow roads, they came to a village. He was taken to a large court surrounded with cocoa-nut trees, and placed by the side of a Chief, whose wife was sitting on the other side of him.
They then offered him a raw taro, which he refused, and afterwards beat up a taro with the scrapings of some red root, which they wrapped up in a leaf and placed on the fire, and when cooked gave it to him; he fancied it was poison, and privately conveyed it into his bosom, pretending he had eaten it. He gave his cap to one of the Chiefs, who had before asked for it, and several other things also, which they fancied. They then ate a cocoa nut, and gave him the shell, filled with urine.
Afterwards, about twenty natives came, each bringing a load of wood, all cut of equal length, which they piled up like a chimney, and made a sign for him to sit on a stone-flag in front of the fire, and then applied a light to the pile, which flamed up almost instantaneously, and most beautifully, blazing out on all sides; his seat became very hot, but he maintained his post on the stone until the whole was consumed.
Afterwards about fifty girls came and were ranged around him, and signs were made for him to select one of them. This he also declined doing.
A Chief, having three tail feathers of the cock stuck in his hair, came and turned himself parderriére to Jackson's face. This act terminated their curious ceremonies. Suddenly all disappeared, and the Chief beckoned him to enter his house. On one side there was a neat bed, made of soft mats; the Chief laid himself upon it, and pointed to the damp sand, intimating that was to be his resting place.
Two natives came in, one laid on either side of him, placing his spear by Jackson's side, two others laid down with their heads touching his, and two more by his feet, whilst another two threw themselves down near the door.
When the cock crew, they arose, one by one, and went out. He felt extremely hungry, and determined to obtain, if possible, some of the cocoa nuts from the trees which grew in the Chief's court-yard. He, therefore, gently got up, and went out, and page 376 succeeded in climbing one of the trees, from which he took a nut. He had just managed to scratch a hole in it with his fingers, when he was perceived, and dragged back again.
In the morning be was escorted back to the coast, and then there was a fight about him, some appearing to wish him to be given up, others opposing. Several lives were lost, but a boat came off, and he was rescued.
It was customary in some parts of New Zealand to place a raw taro in the hand of a corpse before they uttered an incantation. This was called he wakaeke, to enable the spirit to ascend to heaven.